The results of this study showed that, by applying behaviour analytic methods children with autism can be taught critical water safety skills. Ocular saccades and smooth pursuit are the eye movements we use when we explore our environment, look for information, or track moving objects. These gaze shifting movements place the retinal image of a target on the fovea the small high-acuity area of the retina , allowing the visual system to perceive the fine details of the visual environment.
Therefore, eye movements have sometimes been described and assessed as observing responses i. Tomanari et al. In addition, saccade and pursuit are known to have adaptive properties and to respond to changes occurring in the visual system or in the environment. This symposium brings together four researchers to discuss the last findings and theorizing on the control of eye movements by reinforcement contingencies in human adults.
The presentations span the range of studies from anticipatory smooth pursuit to various saccadic properties, including latencies of single saccades and gaze allocation during visual search tasks. These recent studies indicate that the operant learning theory provides a valid alternative to contemporary computational models of motor control and decision-making. Despite their relative simplicity, voluntary goal-directed eye movements are often used as a model of sensorimotor decision-making, as they generally rely on the dynamic selection of one out of several potentially relevant targets and they have proven extremely adaptive to the context.
Importantly, visually-guided eye movements are modulated by their behavioral outcomes Madelain, ; Montagnini, Here we study and model anticipatory smooth pursuit eye movements aSPEM performed ahead of target onset when the forthcoming target motion properties are partly predictable. The effects of reinforcement contingencies on aSPEM can be considered as a particular case of credit assignment problem Kaelbling, , indicating the difficult match between a particular property of a behavior and the outcome.
In a baseline direction-bias task we manipulated the probability of target direction. We then modified the task by setting an implicit eye-velocity criterion during anticipation. The nature of the following trial-outcome reward or punishment was contingent to the criterion-matching during estimate of aSPEM.
We observed a dominant graded effect of the direction-bias and a small modulatory effect of contingent reinforcement on aSPEM velocity. Bridging the basic and applied realms of behavior analysis, translational research seeks to determine the conditions under which basic principles of behavior control the behavior of humans in more typical contexts e. The translational papers in this symposium examine the variables controlling the development, maintenance, and recurrence of target responding. Billie Retzlaff will begin this symposium by sharing the results of a recent translational investigation on the potential for the induction of additional functions of responding following synthesized contingencies of reinforcement.
Hank Roane will then present on the role of response variability on the resurgence of problem behavior during challenges to treatment. Brian Greer will then present on strategies to mitigate the resurgence of problem behavior following functional communication training. Finally, Sarah Cowie will present on how reinforcers control behavior due to their ability to signal the immediate future probability of additional reinforcers.
Treatment of challenging behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities often involves withholding reinforcement for problem behavior i. Previous research has demonstrated that if reinforcement of the alternative behavior is reduced or eliminated i. However, it is also possible that extinction-induced response variability i. The current study sought to evaluate the occurrence of resurgence of problem behavior and extinction-induced response variability during a human operant arrangement in which an inactive control response was present and during clinical cases in which interruptions to treatment were programmed.
Results suggested that resurgence and response variability may have an inverse relation when treatment is interrupted, such that if resurgence of problem behavior occurs, a child is less likely to display response variability and conversely, resurgence of problem behavior may not be as robust when a child engages in greater response variability. Clinical implications regarding the effects of treatment interruptions will be discussed. The assumption that reinforcers strengthen behavior forms the foundation of many behavior-analytic interventions.
However, recent basic research suggests that reinforcers control behavior because of what they signal about events that are likely to occur in the immediate future, rather than because they strengthen the behavior they follow. We extended an experimental paradigm used with non-human animals to study reinforcer control of choice in children. Seven typically developing children and one child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder played a game where opening one of two drawers would result in a reinforcer. The probability of the next reinforcer being obtained for opening the same drawer as had produced the last reinforcer was varied across conditions.
Generally, children chose the drawer more likely to produce the next reinforcer, even on occasions when a different response had been reinforced in the preceding trial. This finding suggests that strengthening may be an unnecessary construct, and that a better understanding of how appetitive consequences control behaviour may be achieved using an alternative framework. The four talks to be presented in this symposium cover new approaches and directions in the analysis of emergent relational stimulus control.
Richard Serna will describe an investigation of the stimulus control engendered by exclusion procedures in young typically developing children. The impact of this stimulus control on observing behavior will be analyzed with eye-tracking data. Deisy De Souza will report analyses of equivalence-probe performances assessed after each step of training conditional discriminations with abstract stimuli in young children. The emergent patterns thus revealed provide important insight in the identification and understanding of sources of behavioral variability in equivalence studies.
Carol Pilgrim will describe experiments testing some implications of Sidmans revised definition of equivalence. The results suggest support for the new definition, and highlight the considerable generativity that may be made possible by considering a broader range of approaches to equivalence. Julio de Rose will report on the impact of replacing arbitrary stimuli in linear conditional discrimination training with either an emotional facial expression, or an arbitrary stimulus made equivalent to a facial expression with college students.
These results have special relevance not only for understanding equivalence-class formation, but also for the study of social stimulus control. This study examined factors that may limit the extent to which exposure to exclusion trials predicts accurate outcome performance. Specifically, we examined the effects of difficult-to-discriminate visual stimuli on both auditory visual exclusion performance and subsequent outcome performance in a matching-to-sample task.
Participants were eight typically developing preschool children, ages years old, all of whom entered the experiment capable of matching the spoken words "dog" and "cat" to line drawings of a dog and cat. This served as the exclusion baseline. The to-be-taught conditional discrimination via the exclusion method consisted of nonrepresentational forms that were very similar to one another, save for a single distinguishing feature, and the spoken nonsense words "veem" and "zid. Three of the four that could not were trained successfully to do so with a stimulus-control shaping program designed to direct observing to the distinguishing stimuli.
The participant acquired the discrimination without training. In subsequent exclusion-exposure tests, all participants showed highly accurate exclusion performance. However, in a test of conditional-discrimination outcome performance, the participants trained to discriminate the nonrepresentational forms failed to meet criterion, while the four participants who entered the study able to discriminate the forms met criterion.
The results will be discussed in terms of the stimulus control engendered by exclusion trials and its interaction with observing behavior. Follow-up studies that include eye-tracking data are ongoing. Sidman proposed a revised definition of equivalence that has yet to receive the attention it deserves. The present study tested implications of this revised definition by training three-term contingencies with compound discriminative stimuli and compound class-specific consequences.
For two participants, conditional discrimination probe tests revealed emergent relations indicative of three 6-member classes e. Those two participants then learned D-E and D-F conditional discriminations with the same class-specific consequences. Conditional discrimination probe trials including standard equivalence probes allowed by the additional training revealed 8-member classes, and simple discrimination probe trials revealed that the new stimuli in each class E and F served an emergent discriminative function when presented as part of a novel compound with any other class member.
They also show that the generativity made possible by equivalence approaches may be considerably greater than the probe relations typically tested. Inclusion of a meaningful stimulus as a class member enhances class formation. Additionally, abstract stimuli equivalent to facial emotional expressions acquire their meanings.
The present study determined whether these latter stimuli also enhance class formation. For Group 1, all class members were abstract stimuli.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
For classes 1, 2, and 3, in Group 2, the Z stimuli were facial expressions of happiness, neutrality, and anger, respectively; therefore, the C stimuli should acquire the emotive valences of these faces. Thus, class formation was enhanced most by the inclusion of meaningful stimuli, and less so by the inclusion of abstract stimuli equivalent to facial expressions.
Consumer behavior analysis draws on behavior analysis, behavioral ecology, behavioral economics, and marketing science to further enhance the understanding of all aspects of consumption. New technologies such as in-store analytics, improved eye tracking, customer feedback software tools and targeted, measurable, and interactive digital media are not only changing the face of the retail landscape but are also a relatively untapped opportunity in this discipline. Current activities in the digital marketplace are generating immense amounts of techniques, tools and behavioral data that can offer possibilities for more detailed analyses of consumer-marketing relationships from a behavior analytical viewpoint.
In this symposium we will discuss recent theoretical developments and empirical analyses related to how consumers learn to adapt to highly competitive economic environments. The symposium starts with a theoretical paper on the relevance of consumer behavior analysis to digital marketing in the context of the Behavioral Perspective Model.
The second paper explores the use of digital technology in scrutinizing in-store customer foraging in its natural surroundings focusing on key customer touch-points. The third study investigates the impact of online customer ratings on online hotel booking using the concept of probability discounting. The final paper uses behavioral conjoint as a methodology to study consumer trade-offs and reinforcement value maximization in online retailing. The paper discusses the need for a thorough understanding of consumer choice of a product carrying equipment e.
A four-term contingency framework with conversion rate modeling was used, and the data consisted of actual choice behavior detected through video-surveillance. In-store antecedents such as consumers' shopping goals and carrying equipment positioning were analyzed and manipulated while random consumers were observed individually from the point they entered the store to all the way to their exit. The measurements involved consequences of different in-store antecedents goals and equipment on in-store behaviors such as walking speed, number of purchases per minute, time spent on different zones e.
The data was analyzed using a Shopper Flow Tracking System where the software is designed both to give automatic data on shopper behavior and to assist human observers in tracking individual shopping trips. We discuss behavioral classifications, methodology, validity and implications related to the data from the consumer tracking efforts. Expanding access to high quality Applied Behavior Analysis services has required advocacy for systems change, including expanding the payers for ABA to include health insurers.
This panel will describe the public policy changes that have transformed access to ABA treatment. The panel will identify the future targets for public policy advocacy to break down the barriers to universal access to quality behavior analytic services. The presenters have drafted and passed legislation in Massachusetts requiring private health insurers to pay for autism treatment, specifically including applied behavior analysis.
They have also participated in the drafting of the regulations to license behavior analysts in Massachusetts. One of the panelists is the founder of an agency providing ABA services to children and adults, and has expertise in managing the reimbursement process for ABA services.
Another founded an agency to assist families accessing insurance reimbursement for ABA services. The third panelist has worked to expand access to non-English speaking residents to enable them to access services. The current symposium will highlight elements of behavioral skills training across varying environments. Rue and colleagues will present data regarding behavior analysts' ability to generalize training in experimental functional analysis EFA methodology to trial-based functional analysis TBFA methods. The training occurred in a clinic providing services to clients with developmental disabilities.
Preliminary data suggest error patterns across the three participants requiring feedback to achieve acceptable levels of procedural integrity. Mitchell and colleagues discuss the importance of training supervisors to provide effective supervision to direct care staff in home-based programs. The authors designed a feedback tool that was used during weekly performance monitoring. Preliminary data suggest implementation of a feedback tool can be an effective means of training supervisors working in home-based applied behavior analysis ABA programs.
The final presentation highlights elements of behavior skills training in a community setting. Smith and colleagues present data regarding a community-based program to increase access to community events and services for families that include an individual with a developmental disability. Results suggest community members acquired skills necessary to assist in providing increased access to community events.
Presenters will include a discussion of the successes and challenges in training individuals to implement programs with integrity. The objective of the current study was to determine if BCBAs could generalize the ability to implement a trial-based experimental functional analysis TBFA following training focused on "traditional" EFA methodology. The independent variable included formal training in EFA methodology.
The dependent variable was level of procedural integrity during implementation of a traditional EFA and a TBFA measured in a multiple baseline design. Participants implemented the traditional EFAs during a mock assessment. Initial results indicate that participants can implement traditional EFA methodology with relatively high levels of integrity. Implications for training and practice are discussed. Families of children with developmental disabilities are often hesitant to participate in community activities, especially when there is a lack of essential supports.
These families seek the same variety and flexibility to engage in their community as other members of society. The SOAR Starting Our Adventure Right program promotes safe, comfortable, and inclusive opportunities, combined with careful training and education of community members so that children with developmental disabilities and their families can fully participate within their own communities. It has expanded to other community settings including museums and theaters.
Psychologists and behavior analysts make use of elements of behavioral skills training, visual supports and a simulation event that focuses on modeling and feedback. It is anticipated that continued data collection and analysis will support the use of community training program to increase inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities. Sexuality education is an often overlooked aspect of education for children and youth with developmental disabilities.
However, it is an important aspect of the development of healthy individuals. Without explicit instruction, these individuals are at risk of lack of information regarding sexual development, sexual and reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image, and gender roles. This lack of information can lead to misinformation about sexuality, lack of development of sexual and gender identities, and leaves these individuals open to abuse.
Behaviorally-based strategies can be used to support sexuality education for individuals with developmental disabilities, including the use of task analysis, video modeling, reinforcement strategies, and self-management. This presentation will describe the current research literature on sexuality education as well as results from a practitioner survey on strategies used to provide sexuality education. Future directions for behaviorally-based strategies for sexuality education include a focus on ways in which generalization can be achieved and the ethical parameters practitioners need to consider.
Research over the last decades has established that early behavioral intervention can not only lead to improvements in targeted skills and amelioration of autistic symptoms e. Dawson suggests that "early intervention can alter the abnormal developmental trajectory of young children with autism and help guide brain and behavioral development back toward a normal pathway" p. Because Down Syndrome is diagnosed earlier than autism i. We will present details of the Down Syndrome Early Intervention Project, a longitudinal study examining the effects of low dose ABA for infants ages 2 and younger with Down Syndrome, with and without parents as co-therapists.
Specifically, we will provide details on program development for very young children under age 1 , logistics of working with families and their infants, and share ramifications for future research and practice. We will examine assessment of very young infants, research-based approaches that are suited to very young learners and their families, and discuss collaborative approaches with other early intervention service providers. Crew resource Management CRM describes an approach to coordinating the efforts of multiple personnel to optimize behavior within complex and challenging work environments.
Situational Awareness SA can be seen as a subset of CRM and entails a worker or crew perceiving changes in the operating environment, comprehending the significance of those changes, and predicting what will happen if events continue unchecked. SA in the context of CRM is an early step in a chain of coordinated behaviors decision-making, communications, instructions, coaching, feedback, etc. Issues such as measuring crew and individual competency, the value of simulators in training, and design of support systems dashboards, data streams, etc.
In the pastseventy years, the behavioral sciences achieved knowledge of human behavior and cultural evolution that is beginning to reap significant benefits in terms of improving human well-being. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the knowledge we have gained with special emphasis on the behavior analytic roots of much of that progress.
Biglan will then provide specific and diverse examples of how effective interventions are being implemented around the world at a scale that is beginning to affect the well-being of entire populations. However, there is little agreement across researchers, clinicians, and stakeholders e. Furthermore, current single subject research data from our clinical practice will be presented focusing on children under the age of three using a variety of evidence based interventions not yet evaluated with children under the age of three.
Considerations include identifying key components of interventions, behavioral cusps, direct versus systematic replications, social validity, ecological validity, treatment integrity, and cost-benefit analysis in producing meaningful outcomes for young children with autism. Research conducted by Lovaas has shown that children receiving EIBI successfully passed typical classes in public schools and maintained their gains several years after the treatment ended.
Although previous studies have shown favorable results with early intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism, it remains important to replicate these findings. We will present the outcomes achieved after fourteen months by 2, 5 to 6-year-olds with autism who participated in intensive behavioral treatment based on the PCDI treatment model.
We will present the use of applied behavior analysis techniques such as activity schedules, scripts and script-fading procedure, discrete trial training, , incidental teaching, and videomodeling in everyday therapy. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder ASD has increased worldwide. Self-management for individuals with ASD is important both as a behaviour change and teaching method and as a way to improve their independence.
The aims of this review were to: 1 update previous systematic reviews by including recently published papers, without limits for target behaviour and age of participants; 2 examine the level and methods of reporting treatment fidelity and social validity; 3 evaluate the generalisation and maintenance effects of self-management interventions; and 4 explore whether the application of functional behavioural assessment, parental involvement and the use of technology contribute to the effectiveness of self-management interventions.
Effect size was calculated using the percentage of non-overlapping data method. Results showed that self-management is an evidence-based practice for children with ASD, but not yet for adults with ASD due to the limited number of studies. Issues regarding validity, generalisation and maintenance effects, FBA, parental involvement and the use of technology are discussed.
Family dynamics can be challenged by a child with disability and future functioning is compromised, too. In the light of educational rehabilitation in family-centered interventions, it is necessary to apply hierarchical approach starting to comprehend and evaluate one's nature and nurture which will lead to the attitudes toward an intervention process and possible better developmental outcome, both for the child and family. This presentation is focused on the emergent literacy and literacy learning of non-verbal children with autism, highlighting the issue of family functioning.
Teaching methods and strategies for teachers and parents will be presented and proposed. The overall aim of this research was to effectively disseminate evidence-based practice EBP to professionals working in the field of intellectual disability. Individuals with intellectual disabilities have the right to the highest standard of treatment and support but research has shown that this is often not the case.
Study 1 involved the completion of a training needs analysis, within an intellectual disability service provider in Ireland. The goal of this study was to obtain a broad, comprehensive analysis of the diagnostic, adaptive functioning and behavioral profiles of a representative sample of service users, as well as the training needs of staff providing direct care to these individuals. Sixty-two direct-support staff participated and results demonstrated a disconnect between the training received by staff and the adaptive and behavioral needs of the service users. The outcomes of Study 1 were subsequently used to develop a staff training intervention program Study 2 , utilizing behavioral skills training as the primary methodology.
The impact of this program was investigated using a randomized control trial design, comparing training as usual with the novel intervention. The results of these studies provide an analysis of the most productive methods for disseminating and supporting the adoption of evidence-based practice in care settings as well as an investigation of the generalization of skills to novel circumstances. The research concludes with an analysis of the benefits to service users, staff and the larger organization as a result of adopting an evidence-based approach to service delivery.
Nursing homes represent a very restrictive and expensive environment. Recently, Pennsylvania has started to move to a managed care system CHC for those living in nursing homes. This talk will review both the political and use of research that supported the use of Pa Licensed Behavior Specialists in the service of nursing home populations including support for people with Alzheimer's Disease, geriatric failure to thrive, incontinence, and those suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury. As other states move from center based nursing homes to maintaining more people in the community, it is hoped that these efforts will be replicated bring a new freedom to nursing populations.
Youth in juvenile justice programs present diverse and complex academic, behavioral, and social needs. To maximize positive outcomes for these youth, many researchers, advocates, and governmental entities have called for the adoption of proactive, preventative, developmentally appropriate programs. This session will focus on the application of applied behavior analysis ABA within an empirically validated framework known as positive behavior interventions and supports PBIS , and the implementation of this framework in juvenile justice programs.
This framework has been shown to increase student success in schools in the U. More recently, juvenile justice programs in the U. We will also explain data sources used for planning and monitoring student progress, and how data sources differ across tiers of support. Finally, we will discuss challenges in extending this framework to juvenile justice settings, and how those challenges are being addressed.
The code has been translated into twelve languages, yet they do not include cultural adaptations, which may be required in order to assure professional and ethical conduct by behavior analysts around the world. Cultural adaptations and considerations may be applied in different venues, such as new ethical guidelines that include cultural adaptations or incorporating multi-cultural studies when teaching ethics. Future behavior analysts should adhere to the professional and ethical standards, as well as possess the skills to adapt to their local cultures. Intraverbals are important for social, academic, and problem solving skills.
Individuals with autism may struggle to develop comprehensive intraverbal repertoires due to the range in complexity of the verbal antecedent stimulus. To date, Kisamore, Karsten, and Mann is the only study that has evaluated procedures for teaching intraverbals under multiple control to children with autism. Additional research on the effectiveness of procedures for teaching these procedures in necessary. The purpose of this investigation was to replicate and extend Kisamore and colleagues by evaluating the effects of a progressive prompt delay, a differential observing response DOR , a modified DOR, and a DOR plus listener response on the acquisition of intraverbals.
All participants learned at least one set of intraverbals with the progressive prompt delay and all three participants required other procedures to learn other sets. Based on these findings, adding a listener response to a differential observing response offers an effective alternative for teaching when a progressive prompt delay and differential observing response is not sufficient for establishing multiply controlled intraverbals.
With the dissemination of knowledge on autism and applied behavior analysis ABA in French-speaking areas, individualized and intensive ABA programs are being developed. However, these programs are not offered fairly to everyone. That induces additional stress to parents and families. Parents are also requesting tools to cope with the disorder of their child and sustain its development. The objective of the symposium is to present three programs adapted or developed in France and in French Canada. These programs are evidence based and respond to specific needs of the parents in a context of lack of access to services.
The program "Beyond ASD: Parental skills within my reach" is a support program, focusing on stress and coping strategies at the time of diagnosis. Those two programs are implemented in health public services in France and French Canada. The last program is a parenting program for Latino-American families who immigrated to Montreal, in a French context.
The communications will underline quantitative results, but also the social validity of the parenting programs, as they aim for the empowerment of families of children with ASD. In France, psycho-educative programs intended for parents of a child with autism spectrum disorder ASD are developing, but their effectiveness is not always assessed. This study aimed to assess the effects of a psycho-educative support program for parents of a child with ASD. Several self-assessment measures were used before pre- , just after post- and 6 months after follow-up the program, to investigatethe effects on parents' knowledge, transactional processes e.
So far, 24 parents have benefited from the program in 3 hospital services. Preliminary results show that the program allowed an immediate and long lasting decrease in the parents' stress levels, as well as a significant improvement of their quality of life. The French Government, through a set of measures "Plan Autisme" has clearly identified the major societal need to implement effective support interventions, to help parents of a child with ASD adapt to this disability. Parent training programs PTs in young children with autism spectrum disorder ASD are known to reduce parenting stress, to improve a child's behavior, and to facilitate parent-child interactions.
Few PTs are available to French speaking families. In order to provide them with this type of intervention, a French PT program based on applied behavior analysis ABA was developed. It is designed for parents who have a child with ASD and developmental delay. It is constituted of twelve bimonthly sessions and three individual home visits. The social validity and efficacy of this new PT has been evaluated with forty parents 18 in France and 22 in Qubec.
The program has high social validity, with no statistical difference between the two contexts on the specific measures e. Therapy Attitude Inventory. The main efficacy results are better knowledge of ASD and behavioral intervention strategies for parents, an increase in communication skills for children, and a decrease of parental stress. This new French PT program seems to be a promising intervention as it has been successfully implemented in two French areas, with cultural differences and different service delivery Models.
Families from ethnocultural minority have more barriers in the access, utilization and adherence to services International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Special Interest Research Group, The aim of this presentation is to share the results of a project to evaluate the effects of a parenting program for Latino-American families who immigrated to Montreal French implementation context. This research is conducted with two cohorts of families for a total of 15 participants. To evaluate the effect of the program, measurements are taken three times pre and post-intervention, and follow up measure.
The first part of this presentation will explore the importance of offering support programs for these families. Finally, we present the results of this program regarding families stress, child behavior and the social validity of the program. A core-defining feature of autism spectrum disorder is deficits in social communication skills. As such, early interventions often target this area of development. This symposium will present empirical data related to early social communication targets that are critical for social conversation development.
The first two single case research studies evaluate teaching procedures for two commonly addressed early social communication targets i. The final study presents a meta-analysis of declarative and imperative communication acts for young children with autism. Inclusive preschool settings often provide meaningful social and play opportunities with same aged peers for children with special needs.
Children with autism spectrum disorders ASD are especially at risk for isolation from peers in inclusive preschool settings and have benefited from a range of social communication interventions. In particular, peer mediated interventions hold interest for social communication interventions for children with ASD because of their ability to teach skills that are socially valid.
One pivotal skill for social interactions, joint attention, has been examined primarily in clinical settings. This study extends previous findings from a piloted parent-mediated joint attention intervention and applies joint attention interventions to a peer-mediated setting in an individual concurrent multiple baseline design across child-peer dyads in inclusive preschool classrooms to evaluate the effects of the intervention on increased response to joint attention behaviors to interventionist bids; on increased bids from peers to target children with ASD; and on increased response to joint attention behaviors to peer bids.
Elements of discrete trial training DTT and naturalistic instruction were used to teach response to joint attention behaviors to young children with ASD using both interventionists and same-aged peers. Results indicate increased response to both interventionist and peer joint attention bids, as well as increased peer bids to target child. Children with autism who do not develop spoken communication are often candidates for speech-generating devices SGDs as an alternative communication modality. Early language interventions for children with autism often utilize Skinner's conceptual analysis of language by targeting manding, tacting, and intraverbal skills.
However for children learning to use SGDs, research has mainly investigated manding skills. Thus, the current study sought to extend the evidence base for teaching children with autism who are learning to communicate using SGDs by evaluating the acquisition of intraverbal responding in a four year-old child with autism, using a concurrent multiple baseline across responses design. Systematic instruction in the context of an activity interruption i. All three intraverbal responses were acquired during a final choice phase, which allowed for the participant to select the song order.
These results suggest the value for targeting intraverbal skills to children with autism who use SGDs. Background: Theoretically, specific functions of communication might be differentially associated with language use in children with autism spectrum disorder ASD.
Autism Spectrum Disorders - Medical Clinical Policy Bulletins | Aetna
The primary purpose of this meta-analysis was to compare the relation of declarative and imperative intentional communication acts, respectively, with language skills in young children with ASD. Declaratives are related to the verbal behavior concept of tacts; imperatives are a subset of mands. Method: Included studies provided at least 1 zero-order correlation concurrent or longitudinal of language measures with declarative or imperative intentional communication acts.
Participants were children with ASD, aged 8 years and younger.
Results: Twenty-one studies were included. Imperatives were not significantly associated with language. Conclusions: The association of declaratives and language might have implications for early treatment of ASD-related language deficits. With a new design of lab operant conditioning chambers, we tested the demand law with honey bees in closed economies. The price has been defined as the amount of syrup a bee received following a response.
In our protocol, the price increased from 0. According to the demand law, we observed a decreasing daily syrup consumption. Until now, ecotoxicology that is the study of chemicals on living organisms, does not interact a lot with behavior analysis. However, in several aspects, studying pesticides effects can be similar to studying drug effects in animals.
Because Skinner boxes can be used to study the self administration of pesticides, we think behavior analysis can contribute as much to ecotoxicology than it contributes to pharmacology. With several experiments, we show how Skinner boxes and conditioning protocols can be used to detect undesirable effects of pesticides in free-flying honey bees. Parenting a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD is often associated with reduced quality of life, high stress, depression and anxiety due to the ongoing nature of care.
A proliferation of recent research has demonstrated that mindfulness-based interventions potentially have long-term positive effects on stress levels and psychological wellbeing in parents of children with ASD, in addition to enhancing their child's behavior. The current study examined the impact of a mindfulness intervention which was tailored to parents involved in an ABA program. Parent stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, in addition to their heart-rate and blood pressure were outcome measures.
A multiple base-line design was adopted to measure the child's ABA program over 24 weeks, with emphasis on their imitation and receptive language skill acquisition. The results and implications for future research and clinical directions will be discussed. The increasing dissemination of Behavior Analysis services around the world, particularly in the area of autism intervention, presents unique opportunities and challenges for program developers and practitioners alike. As more and more governments recognize the need for effective autism treatment and commit resources to intervention based on applied behavior analysis, opportunities are created.
Successful programs operating abroad have goals in common with programs operating in North America, but they also must address some unique challenges. First, they must provide effective, evidence-based treatment that meets local needs. Consideration of the local cultural context and cultural influences on the recognition, acceptable interventions, and expected outcomes of disabilities services will help mitigate program-related risks associated with operation abroad.
Second, program operation must be financially viable and sustainable. An understanding of the local stakeholders e. Third, a successful program will plan for sustainability through knowledge transfer, that is, through the development of local expertise among practitioners and program managers through formal and informal professional development. Panelists will discuss these three key topics and answer questions about the development and delivery of services abroad. Human-operant experiments will be presented in which rule-governed behavior, resistance to change and relapse were assessed.
Alessandri and colleagues studied the effects of instructions and reinforcement value on behavior under negative-reinforcement schedules and extinction. Rule following affected responding i. Abreu-Rodrigues and Pontes assessed the effects of three variables on the relapse of response sequences under a resurgence procedure: the sequence's level of difficulty easy and difficult , the context of test extinction and variation and the number of responses per sequence three and five.
Easy sequences reappeared more often than difficult ones, the reappearance of the target sequence was more frequent under extinction than under variation, and the reappearance of the target sequence varied inversely with the number of responses per sequence. Finally, Baia and colleagues studied resistance to change and relapse under an ABA-renewal procedure and the relations between behavioral and physiological measures under this procedure.
Renewal occurred generally, and was a function of reinforcement rates in a training phase. These experiments highlight procedural aspects in the analysis of human-operant behavior and establish a context to assess the generality of findings obtained previously in experiments with nonhumans. In the laboratory, human behavior can be controlled by contingencies of reinforcement but also by instructions and related social aspects of the experiment. Two experiments were conducted to further investigate the relative effects of these variables on behavior maintained by negative-reinforcement schedules.
In each experiment, participants were required to press a force cell with high force i. They could press a key to produce timeouts from this force requirement. In Experiment 1, after reinforcement training, participants in two different groups were exposed to extinction. The groups were exposed to opposite rules regarding the experimenter's eectations about the participants continuing or not to respond during extinction. Rule following was observed for participants in each group. In Experiment 2, we investigated the effects of reinforcement value on instruction following under negative-reinforcement schedules similar to those in Experiment 1.
Differential levels of force high vs. Results showed a decrease in timeouts for each participant, under each level of force, but this decrease was higher in the low- than in the high-force condition. This study investigated the effects of three variables upon the reappearance of response sequences: difficulty level of the sequence easy and difficult , context of test extinction and variation and number of responses per sequence three and five in two experiments.
In the Training Phase, an easy sequence S1 was reinforced for half of the participants and a difficulty sequence for the other half. In the Elimination Phase, S1 did not produce reinforcers while an alternative sequence S2 was reinforced. In the Testing Phase, S1 and S2 were under extinction. However, for half of the participants trained with the easy or difficult S1, there were no reinforcers for the non-target sequences, and for the other half, non-target sequences produced reinforcers according to a variation contingency.
Five- and three-response sequences were investigated in Experiment 1 and 2, respectively. Easy sequences reappeared more often than difficult sequences, the reappearance of the target sequence was more frequent under extinction than under variation, and the reappearance of the target sequence varied inversely with the number of responses per sequence. The reappearance of the target sequence was not conceptualized as resurgence as long as its frequency was lower than that of the control sequences.
We studied resistance to change and relapse with humans under an ABA-renewal procedure and their relation to physiological measurements. In Phase 2 Context B , extinction was in effect in each schedule component. In Phase 3, extinction still was in effect but participants were exposed to Context A. Physiological responses were recorded in each phase skin temperature, skin conductance response, respiratory and heart rate by using a Flexcom ProInfinity interface.
Renewal was observed for participants in each group. That is, previously reinforced responses recurred when the context previously correlated with reinforcement was presented under extinction. Additionally, differential resistance to extinction i. The relations between behavioral and physiological measures will be discussed to highlight methodological aspects and possible relations between behavioral and physiological measures in studies of resistance to change and relapse. A study of behaviour investigates the relationship between experimentally controlled environmental variables and the likelihood of response Skinner, Skinner proposed that response rate should be the canonical datum for indexing the likelihood of response.
However, the validity of response rate does not dominate all other types of dependent variable, especially for experimental designs for which rates cannot be calculated or when derived variables are required. Regardless of the type of dependent variable, theories of behaviour attempt to link environmental variables to some behavioural metric. This constrains those theories to particular dimensions of behaviour. An alternative approach is to construct a theory that links environmental variables to a constellation of behavioural metrics, thereby explaining "behaviour" as opposed to a particular behavioural metric.
Computational models of behaviour comprise a set of models that have this multivariate property. Because computational models of behaviour output punctuate responses, almost any arbitrary behavioural metric can be calculated. Hence, one may fit a computational model of behaviour to any vector of dependent variables. The present paper outlines the philosophy of the Computational Analysis of Behaviour and illustrates the efficacy of the philosophy with a demonstration of multi-objective optimisation with Catania's Operant Reserve Catania, There has been much debate about the explanatory power of associative versus propositional accounts of human learning e.
Mitchell et al. How may this notional dichotomy be applied to the laboratory study of stimulus equivalence classes? Is the commonest training procedure, arbitrary matching-to-sample, simply a cluster of conditional discriminations, homologous with those which can be demonstrated in other species, or even in the isolated ganglia of Aplysia, or does it depend, in human participants at least, upon propositional processes, in which a language-like apprehension of the relation between the stimuli and not just a link between representations of the stimuli is entailed?
When the same matching-to-sample procedure is used during unreinforced tests for derived relations can a seemingly simpler associative account still be maintained, or do such tests help to generate, in a propositional manner, the relations they aim to demonstrate? The literature on alternative methods of training and testing is reviewed to see if there are or might be circumstances in which propositional processes can be confidently excluded in the formation of stimulus equivalence classes. Mitchell, C. The propositional nature of human associative learning.
Brain Sci. Words that mean so much to all of us—either as the center of our meaningful existence—or as four-letter words writ large. Here, in the City of Love, I ask if they could possibly be right; whether to be a good science, ours must be a heartless science. Physics and chemistry cannot be other.
Must behaviorism? Bemused with Carneaux in experimental chambers, is there room for behaviorists in the labyrinthine chambers of the heart? In this talk I begin to unweave the rainbow of heart and soul; hoping—and you shall judge if I succeed in showing the possibility—that once experimentally analyzed, some reasons can be found that reason can know; and that some life, indeed, some mystery, still lives in the analysands. Supervised experience provides BACB applicants with guidance in the application of behavior analytic procedures. Panel will discuss the importance of ethical, effective and efficient supervision of BACB applicants and how the supervised experience lays the groundwork for provision of home programming services once applicants become certified BCBAs.
- Alabama Genealogy.
- Ten Life Changing Lessons.
- Embrace The Woman You Want To Become Love The Woman You Are Now.
- CHAPTER 29 Interventions for Infants and Toddlers at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers;
- The 2 X 4?
- SAGE Books - Teaching Adolescents with Autism: Practical Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom.
Panel will also briefly discuss ethics as they relate to the provision of delivering home programming services to clients and respond to questions from the audience. This work was part of a main project that aimed to investigate the relationship between sleep and aversive learning. To do that, we first adapted a contextual fear conditioning task in order to explore the effect of an aversive event the electric shock and a possible effect of forgetting controlled by the passage of time upon conditioning and extinction.
The first one, the cumulative extinction group received a contextual fear conditioning CFC training session with a single shock presentation followed by five sessions of extinction, starting three days after CFC training. The second group, unique extinction, were trained in CFC followed by six days of no exposure to the trained context and finally an extinction session at the fifth day after training.
The third group immediate shock received a training session with a single shock applied immediately after entering the animal in the conditioning box followed by five sessions of extinction. The freezing response was the behavioural parameter. The results showed that immediate shock group did not learn the conditioned relation between US-CS. The cumulative extinction group had a progressive decrease on freezing while unique extinction had a higher score on its last extinction session of the other two groups.
These results are consistent with other findings and show the important role of time within a new environment to the environment to proper fulfil the requirements to acquire conditioned properties and the resistance of a conditioned relation to the passage of time. Studies have also examined sources of stress among other caretakers, including fathers of children with ASD Hastings, ; Hastings et al. Differences between mothers and fathers' stress levels may relate to specific sources they perceive as distressing or upsetting.
Issues such as the severity of the child's disability, the extent of caretaking demands, and familial needs may contribute differently to mothers' versus fathers' functioning. For example, Gray interviewed fathers of children with ASD and reported that the biggest impact on their lives came from the indirect impact of their wives' stress, rather than the impact of the disability itself.
These results reveal the need for examining both mothers and fathers when studying parental stress. So far, very few studies have investigated how parenting variables may mitigate child outcomes produced by early intervention programs in ASD. They cautioned that parental factors, such as stress, should be taken into account when designing early interventions for ASD and that helping parents reduce their stress levels may aid the child to achieve greater outcome gains.
These characteristics, when present, may make it more difficult for parents to use social supports to manage the challenges and stresses related to a new diagnosis of ASD in a child. A unique aspect of intervention for children under 3 years of age is the provision of services in natural environments, particularly home, focused on natural routines as required by the IDEA law. Furthermore, delivery of early intervention services for ASD at home and in daily routines may itself create additional stresses on family members.
The differing needs and characteristics of children under 3 and their families compared to the needs of children 3 and older and their families are reflected in several areas of service delivery, including but not limited to legal requirements for services, clinical models of parent delivered interventions, goals, and qualification definitions. In this section, we describe current thinking and practices related to these differences. Federal regulations for infant toddler services differ from those for preschoolers and older children in a variety of ways. From the table, it is clear that Part C services contrast with Part B services in a number of ways.
One clear area is the focus on providing interventions inside natural routines in natural environments. Many early ASD interventions have been developed within university or other clinic settings, in which parents bring children to professionals for services and therapists create explicit teaching activities in their offices. Delivering services in natural environments involves professional time and travel. Helping parents support their children's development requires an active approach to transfer of skills and knowledge from professionals to parents.
Working inside natural routines requires that therapists fit themselves and their therapeutic interventions into the ongoing care and play activities of children and their caregivers and family members, which requires a level of flexibility, creativity, and role diffusion that professionals may not have been taught in their training.
Working inside family homes and community settings reduces rigid role boundaries for both family members and professionals, requiring careful attention to ethical dilemmas that arise when boundaries based on location and skill sets are reduced, and both family members and therapists find themselves in casual settings like kitchens, family meals, swimming pools, and parks. In contrast, implementing early intervention services in proximity to daily activities, but not necessarily used as the source of the learning opportunity e. The nature of participation in everyday activities, therefore, may be heavily influenced and guided by personal, family, and childrearing values and beliefs, rituals, and routines, and customs that shape expectations about how everyday activities are carried out as part of daily life Dunst et al.
Policy and practice that reflect this knowledge base will certainly be in the best interest of the children and families involved in early intervention programs. The legal requirements of Part C have important effects on the nature of the relationship between professional and parent. Each such relationship is influenced by the professional's experience, value system, personal style, and his or her role in relation to other professionals, on the one side, and by parent expectations, values and preferences for the help they are seeking in general, and their previous experiences with professionals, on the other.
The Part B requirements for ecologically framed intervention require that the therapist work with parents to identify the personal and community resources for the child and caregivers as the platform upon which to provide services, and these will be quite different from one family to the next. Professionals contribute resources in many different forms, from assessing and developing learning objectives as part of the child's intervention program, to support and instruction for the parents.
Each professional, as a collaborator, must design services together with the family and other service providers to facilitate the child's growth and development. Each family has its own set of values, needs, and resources related to the child. As such, there cannot be one best way to interact with all families since each has different service needs and support systems National Autism Center, Identifying the needs and resources of each family and the degree to which the family is seeking to be involved in various activities related to the child's needs is a centerpiece of effective Part C collaboration Hanft et al.
In Family A, the mother stays home with her child the only child while her husband works. She has read a great deal about ASD, detected early signs, requested and received a diagnostic evaluation, has read about interventions on the Internet, and wants to learn a particular approach. The family has a wide range of toys and a set of routine daily activities to work within. There is a strong network of friends and family helping to provide child care and assistance with intervention activities.
The parents want to begin a home program similar to those they have read about in the literature, with therapists coming in during the day to deliver intervention, and they ask the professional to help them find such a service. In addition, the parents want to meet other parents of children with ASD and want to attend family support groups.
In another scenario, Family B was referred to the agency by the pediatrician at a public clinic who was concerned about the lack of language reported during a visit in which the mother sought help for her young child's high fever. The mother is single, young, recently left alone by her children's father, and now lives with her three children in public housing. She is unemployed and impoverished, lacks transportation and easy access to medical care, and is alienated from her family.
She does not have specific concerns about her child but is happy for any help she can get to access medical, educational, and physical resources for all her children. She knows that her doctor wants her child to be evaluated, but she has no knowledge of where he can be evaluated and how to arrange it. Her professional helps her set up an evaluation appointment at the public early intervention center.
She also helps the mother contact Head Start for her other preschooler, and she helps find a transportation service that will allow the mother to attend school conferences for her older children. The first child intervention that the parent requests is a strategy for teaching her child to behave appropriately on a public bus so that she can travel with him to the grocery store, the doctor's office, and the library.
The second involves sitting in a high chair for meals rather than roaming. The family priorities are very different in these two families, and the primary professional involved must carry out very different support activities based on the two families' differing needs and priorities.
Services on Demand
For organizational purposes, we will categorize these in terms of the contexts within which intervention is delivered: group or individually delivered, and parent or therapist implemented. We will use the adjective targeted to address approaches that focus on only a narrow range of targets e. In general, these models integrate teaching approaches derived from applied behavior analysis ABA , with teaching targets identified via knowledge of developmental milestones and sequences identified through developmental science to address a broad range of learning targets, though there are exceptions.
Outcomes and designs from the published studies as of March are described in Table 2. Note that few of the approaches have thus far been independently replicated and almost none have been carried out in community settings conducting intervention with public dollars. Thus, this area of science is young in its own developmental process. We describe the main models in the following sections. Object interest moderated effects of tx on child nonverbal communication.
SS with low object interest exhibited greater gains in Tx group, while those with higher object interests at T1 made greater gains in the TAU group. Sig group diff post tx and after FU on object and gesture imitation, on elicted and spontaneous imitation. Sig changes in all standard scores occurred between T1 and T2. IQ gains continued over time; autism severity did not change. This was the first inclusive group program for toddlers with ASD described in the literature, its development led by Gail McGee, and it has served as a model for many others.
Incidental teaching and a range of other empirically supported behavioral interventions are used in classrooms to help children to act upon the environment to achieve their goals and engage in positive relationships with others. A comprehensive curriculum that addresses all areas of development guides individualized instruction. In addition, designated home therapists provide parent education for up to 4 hours per week. No controlled studies of outcomes have been published to our knowledge. Aubyn Stahmer has led the development of this program, which involves both a replication and extension of the Walden Preschool approach for toddlers.
In this education program, children ranging in age from 18 to 36 months with ASD and those without developmental delays are enrolled in the same early childhood class for 15 hours per week. As part of the inclusion program, speech and occupational services include all of the children in specialized group activities designed to promote communication and motor development.
A typical daily schedule includes free play, snack time, circle time, lunch, nap, and free play outside. At minimum, there are four teachers in the classroom at any given time, resulting in a ratio of students to teachers. The program incorporates a variety of behavioral and developmental intervention approaches with family education and support offered through weekly home visits. Project DATA for Toddlers is an inclusive early intervention program for children between 12 and 36 months diagnosed with ASD and is based on an existing program for preschoolers with ASD at the University of Washington, developed under the leadership of Ilene Schwartz.
This program offers integrated playgroups for two 1. Little Learners. Children attended 2. The classrooms focused on developing child social synchrony and joint attention through use of naturalistic interventions following children's interests and points of attention, eliciting frequent opportunities for communication and diverse object play. The classroom curriculum from Bricker taught using a variety of empirically supported teaching approaches. Parents received 33 hours of group classes and monthly individual home instruction 1.
Parents also observed the classroom twice weekly. This study used a randomized controlled design that differentially added a curriculum approach involving Interpersonal Synchrony IS to one group while holding other elements the same. Results indicated beneficial effects of the program in both groups and differential positive effects of the IS intervention.
The nature of the teaching interactions and the curriculum priorities are heavily influenced by infant interpersonal development and the phases of the emerging social relationship between the young child and the parent. There is a strong emphasis on the theory that ASD involves a fundamental deficiency in social motivation, referring to children's lack of sensitivity to social reward. As such, the ESDM targets children's social engagement to not only alter the course of behavioral development in ASD, but also to affect the way neural systems underlying the perception and representation of social and linguistic information are developed and organized.
Compared with children who received community available intervention, children who received 15 hours a week of ESDM in their homes and ongoing parent coaching for 2 years showed very large and statistically significant improvements in IQ, language, adaptive behavior, and ASD diagnosis Dawson et al. Early Social Interaction Project. Parent training uses a developmentally focused and individualized curriculum to guide parent practice and involves biweekly visits to parents' homes.
The program builds upon parents' knowledge and skills to enable them to promote their child's development during functional, predictable, and meaningful activities and settings. Resources and information about social communication development is also provided to enhance parents' confidence and competence in their ability to encourage their child's growth and development.
Hanen's More Than Words Sussman, More Than Words is a manualized intervention developed in Canada for parents targeted at improving communication and language for children with ASD. There is a specific parent curriculum taught by a speech and language pathologist in a group setting over eight weekly groups and three individual home visits. They tape themselves weekly and tapes are shared in the weekly parent group to build parent skills. Carter et al. Furthermore, the study found that toddlers' ability to play with toys at pretreatment influenced how much they gained from the intervention curriculum.
Those children who demonstrated limited toy play at the start of the study showed significantly more gains from the More Than Words program than similar children in the control group. Core principles include following the child's lead and interest in activities, imitating child actions, talking about what the child is doing, repeating back and expanding on what the child says, giving corrective feedback, sitting close to the child and making eye contact, and making environmental adjustments to engage the child.
Earlier research facilitated initiations and responses in preschoolers' joint attention skills and improved play skills within joint engagement routines Kasari et al. This study implemented a social interaction curriculum developed by Hannah Schertz and Sam Odom. The model makes explicit reference to Part C values, including family support, children as active learners, systematic teaching, and developmentally appropriate practice.
Children demonstrated marked increases in functional verbal utterances, spontaneous vocal communication, and imitation, which were maintained in all children who completed the maintenance phase. Children also demonstrated marked increases on social attention, engagement, and initiation with both parent and therapist across the 12 treatment weeks that were maintained for the following 12 weeks.
Positive effects of this approach have been replicated by Vismara in several single subject telehealth delivery studies though not in an RCT that had several methodological problems [Rogers et al. PRT is a naturalistic intervention developed by Robert and Lynn Koegel and Laura Schreibman that uses an applied behavior analysis framework to teach parents and therapists to follow children's leads and preferences to provide learning opportunities built around children's goals.
Vernon, Koegel, Dauterman, and Stolen used PRT with three young children and their parents to increase social engagement. The method involved teaching parents to use PRT following the published manual but having them add a social interaction into the delivery of the reinforcer, resulting in improved social engagement between child and parents compared to the baseline condition.
This variation on PRT adds to the literature demonstrating that positive social interaction is reinforcing in its own right to children with ASD. The focus for parents is on presenting learning tasks with materials in a particular way that facilitates child engagement and independence, on clear prompting strategies, and on child independent participation. This study used a single subject design to demonstrate changes in parent and child behavior.
A randomized wait list control group was used to test for group effects on standardized measures, but none attained significance. Census Bureau, , the rise of Internet use paired with recent advances in multimedia technology has created new avenues for intervention delivery with parents and children with ASD. Research suggests that parents' participation in online training programs has improved their use and understanding of complex behavioral intervention strategies Jang et al.
Two papers have reported outcome data from use of telehealth to deliver recognized interventions to families of very young children with ASD. Sessions were delivered as in Vismara et al. The approach uses both modeling and coaching strategies to enhance parent effectiveness and child improvements. The majority of parents mastered the materials, with dramatic improvements in knowledge, and high levels of used satisfaction with the materials.
An online platform was developed to teach the intervention approach involving five different modules taught via PowerPoint and audio lectures, video examples, quizzes, video segments to evaluate, and electronic access to the manual. The learning rates of the two groups were assessed through changes in their interactions with children and test data. Viewer knowledge was strongly influenced by the program, viewer satisfaction was high, and all viewers increased their use of the RIT techniques after finishing the tutorial.
Some attained fidelity from viewing alone, though others required additional coaching. Children's skills were positively affected. The potential of technology to equip parents with resources at minimal expense may increase understanding and provide greater opportunity to practice the intervention; thereby increasing the number, quality, and range of learning opportunities that parents provide to children.
It will be crucial for subsequent research to investigate who would be likely candidates for the beneficial use of this technology. Having reviewed the diverse studies and approaches described above, nine issues stand out as in need of further consideration and study, and this is the topic to which we now turn. What should interventionists do? The choice of content and procedures that we should turn to when determining what form of intervention to use with infants and toddlers with or at risk for ASD needs to be answered empirically, not through using untested downward extensions of an intervention approach developed for and tested on older children.
Where should intervention occur? As such, intervention skills need to be transferred from professionals to parents and supported in the kinds of interactions and activities that are likely to occur for children in this young age range and their parents. Family support systems will also be necessary to cultivate and strengthen if interventions are going to be transmitted effectively to parents. Who should provide intervention? We see these values being applied in many of the ASD toddler intervention studies reviewed here.
The fact that they have not demonstrated such differences thus far does not mean that they cannot be as effective. There are a number of methodological challenges that these first studies are facing. What are the current research challenges? Unlike the early intervention studies of other developmental disorders that flourished in the s and s, before early intervention was publically available, many of the current studies are comparing experimental treatments to community treatment comparison groups who are also receiving some level of community treatments; these studies do not have true control groups.
Community treatment does not mean no treatment, and community treatment can be excellent. Thanks to the effects of IDEA, the past three decades of early intervention studies on ASD, and the proliferation of knowledge in the intervention community about the needs of young children with ASD, virtually all children with ASD now receive public intervention as soon as they are diagnosed through the Birth to Three system, and that system is knowledgeable about the needs of young children with ASD.
As well illustrated in the Rogers et al. The studies reviewed here have replicated previous findings that demonstrate the positive effect of responsive parents on children's core symptoms and development in early ASD, similar to what we see in other young children. The longitudinal studies of Siller and Sigman , , the results of the Hanen study involving children with greater language delays Carter et al.
Thus, it is quite likely that very similar treatments are being delivered in experimental and comparison groups. And therein lies the third methodological dilemma. Until we can describe the delivery of the independent variable in both groups of children in these treatment studies, we cannot isolate the effects of a specific approach. A fourth methodological dilemma is the length of treatment, which involves the dosage of the active ingredient.
As with other lines of research, the early studies help researchers refine their methods and their thinking and thus build foundations for the later, more definitive studies. How best to assist parents develop their intervention skills? There is a very wide range of teaching styles that are used to help parents acquire intervention skills for their children.
The coaching framework emphasizes the parent as the active agent, explicitly seeking the services of the coach to accomplish specific goals, and the coach as the responsive partner, helping the parent to grow in areas articulated by the parent and captured in the IFSP. The strength of the coaching model is its grounding in adult learning styles. Unlike child learners, adult learning is strictly a volunteer activity, and adults drop out, physically or emotionally, when their needs are not being met. This is an active point of dialogue and practice revision in many early ASD intervention groups, and we look forward to the syntheses that will begin to emerge in the literature in the next few years.
How to help parents cope with their stress? Parents' perception of the world, values, and priorities change when their child is diagnosed, and those changes influence parents' perceptions of their child, family, and themselves King et al. Strong support systems are critical stress buffers, and early intervention professionals can be part of this support network for families, this benefiting not only children with ASD, but also parents, as they adjust and cope with all the stressors involving in raising a child with complex needs.
Given the centrality of early intervention professionals in the families of young children with ASD, one step professionals can take to help is to focus on the specific circumstances in the child and parents' life that are creating the greatest levels of stress. Certainly, developing communication systems between children with ASD and their parents is imperative in the intervention and will likely alleviate some feelings of distress.
Other issues may not relate as much to caring for the child per se but rather have to do with encouraging parents to develop and mobilize social supports, which can build resiliency from stress and reduce its negative consequences. Alternatively, helping parents share intervention resources with other caretakers and adults in the child's life may reassure parents that their child is safe and not missing out on learning when with others.
Thus, early intervention professionals need to talk with families about their needs and their experiences so that they can maximize the effectiveness and accessibility of child intervention and family resources. A second step that early intervention professionals can take to help parents become emotionally equipped for what lies ahead means giving them opportunities to experience and share their feelings of grief, distress, and fear.
Parent education and support programs must extend their focus beyond the child's behavior and development and also consider the parent's emotional supports and individual coping needs as they are identified. A third strategy for assisting parents to reduce stress is encouraging parental optimism when interacting with them directly, while teaching parents to elicit positive behaviors from their child Azar, ; Kessler, For example, teaching parents to change pessimistic thoughts and beliefs regarding their child's problem behavior to positive, capable statements was found to increase their tendency to complete parent education programs Durand, ; Kessler, Consequently, parents may be more encouraged to join and remain involved in programs when they both experience positive aspects of their children directly and also perceive this orientation in others.
As the professional highlights what the child can do, parents are more likely to affirm these views of child behavior and recall and share additional strengths Steiner, This orientation is critical for interventionists working with children under 3 and families due to the requirements of the IDEA.
These tools, built to detect what is different in ASD from typical development or other disorders, are not calibrated finely enough to detect small differences in ASD symptoms in children who are still somewhere on the spectrum. This was well illustrated in the Dawson et al. It could well be that the limited scores used in the ADOS and ADI—in which a score of 2 reveals autism symptoms—do not allow for enough variability to reflect lessened severity within that symptom when it is still present.
Lord and colleagues are now working on a new measure designed to measure small changes in ASD core symptoms resulting from treatment. This discussion opens the larger issue of what is expected to change, what is being measured, and whether the latter is a good measure of the former. Up until recently, group studies of ASD efficacy by and large used standardized measures of IQ, language, and adaptive behavior to demonstrate change. However, there are logical criticisms about trying to address specific deficits in ASD e.
There are good arguments for the use of standardized measures as one aspect of assessing efficacy. Change on standardized measures, tasks that treatment never directly address, measured in unusual contexts, in the presence of strangers, and in response to adult instruction rather than any ecologically meaningful context, represents a deep level of generalization.
Now that this is a replicated finding across models, it represents an important touchstone for future intervention studies, whose goal is overall change. However, not all studies are aiming at the child's general improvement. Treatment studies are one of the most powerful designs for testing hypotheses about core deficits, and Kasari's studies see Table 2 are excellent examples of this approach. If ASD represents a cascade of developmental effects from one core deficit, then intervening with the core deficit should prevent the cascade, and using only broad outcome measures like IQ tests, without also including probes of the hypothesized casual deficits, tell us nothing about the hypothesized causal effects.